Tuesday, 15 October 2019

My thoughts on the end of Barclays withdrawals from the Post Office

When Barclays closed many of their branches - particularly in rural areas - they made a promise that customers would be able to withdraw money from any Post Office. 

This week they announced that they are ending the ability for customers to access free cash from the Post Office. This is simply not acceptable, and I am extremely concerned about the impact this will have on our rural communities.

I met with Kate from the Bellingham Post Office to sign her petition, as well as Eileen from Kirkwhelpington Post Office, and both expressed their concerns about what this will mean for our rural communities.

I will be meeting with Barclays in London to protest this decision, and many of my MP colleagues across the country will be doing the same.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

The 10th Kielder Marathon

I would like to wish good luck to everyone in tomorrow's Kielder Marathon. This year's event is extra special as it marks the 10th anniversary of the first Kielder Marathon, known as Britain's most beautiful marathon. Hopefully the weather doesn't let Kielder down!

Friday, 11 October 2019

A massive boost for our local schools

Campaigning for Fairer School Funding in Bywell

Every school across Tynedale and Ponteland will see their government funding increase next year as a result of today's massive funding boost announcement by the Prime Minister. 

Levelled up education funding means per pupil funding at Queen Elizabeth High School will top more than £5,000 next year. 
This has only been possible as a result of a long campaign which has been supported by fantastic local headteachers such as Graeme Atkins. I recently met with Graham at the consultation on Queen Elizabeth High School's new building to see their exciting plans for the future. 

With Graeme Atkins, Headteacher of Queen Elizabeth High School and Cllr Cath Homer, Hexham East

The funding boost is part of a massive investment in our schools locally which means that by 2021, every high school across Tynedale and Ponteland will have been rebuilt or refurbished.

·      Work is already well underway on the new £45m Ponteland Schools and Leisure Complex, which is set to open next year. 

·      £4.5m is being invested to upgrade Haydon Bridge High School, which will see two new multi-use games areas, a new vocational centre, and a total redesign of the front of the school, which is due to be completed at the end of the year. 

·      Prudhoe Community High School’s brand new building was opened in 2016. It is now officially a good school with outstanding teachers and great pupils.

·      Queen Elizabeth High School is set to get a brand new, state of the art building as part of a £36.1m investment, due to be completed in 2021. 

This new funding will make a massive difference to our fantastic local schools

Thursday, 10 October 2019

World Mental Health Day

Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and overcoming social stigma. The theme of this year's event is suicide and suicide prevention; suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 in the UK. Schools, workplaces and organisations are being encouraged to raise understanding of mental health and wellbeing to ensure that those who need it most receive the support they need.

World Mental Health Day is a timely reminder to us all to take time to talk to and confide in those we trust most, so this World Mental Health Day, why not take a few minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and share what's on your mind with a friend, colleague or family member? Or take a moment to ask someone how they are today? It could make the world of difference.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Get Set for the Parkrun!

Back in 2016 I cut the ribbon and ran in the very first Prudhoe Riverside Parkrun. The run takes place every Saturday at 9am and is a timed 5km run for runners of all abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers, the run is free but you must register online first. There is now also a Parkrun in Hexham which starts at Tyne Green. 

If you haven’t yet taken part in one of our local Parkruns I really do recommend it; it will change your life, your fitness and so much more. Thank you also to our local Parkrun organisers. Why not give a Parkrun a try this Saturday? Find out more about how you can get involved here:



Saturday, 5 October 2019

Cast your vote at the Rural Oscars!

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Countryside Alliance Awards! 

You can nominate businesses in seven different categories- Local Food/Drink, Village Shop/Post Office, Butcher, Rural Enterprise, Pub, Game Champion and the Clarissa Dickson Wright Award. Nominations close on 8th December.

If you would like to recognise a special rural business in your local area, from your favourite village pub to your local community's post office, then why not fly the flag for Northumberland and nominate them for a Countryside Alliance Award? 

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Landscapes review: making our National Parks greener

In May 2018 the Government asked an independent team to carry out a Landscapes Review to make our National Parks and AONBs greener, more beautiful and places that are there for everyone. It is a detailed and outstanding review, and has a real impact on Northumberland. It is well worth a read by visiting the link below.